Friday, December 16, 2005

Grace Has a Face

I know, I'm probably shorter than you expected.

That's the problem with being mysterious. When the myth is dispelled, people are bound to be disappointed.

In many ways, it is really nice to have made friends here simply on the basis of words, thoughts, and ideas.

And yet, while being anonymous to the general blogosphere is fine, in the context of friendship it began to feel false.

When I began blogging, I had several reasons for anonymity. First, I was taught that you do not use your real name on the internet (or take candy from strangers).

Next due to my initial shyness about writing in a public realm, anonymity felt like a safety blanket.

And finally, my worst-case scenario was being googled and having my ideas become fodder for a church board meeting.

Having viewed many profiles, I always enjoy knowing about the person whose blog I read. And because I am visual, a picture means a lot to me.

That is why I wanted to add a picture. I want to be the real person that people meet when they visit my blog.

Having my picture on here doesn't really compromise my anonymity because the likelihood of anyone who knows me actually stumbling across my blog is pretty slim.

The act of posting a picture forced me to confront my cameraphobia. I don't particularly enjoy seeing my face every time I come to this blog. However, in the interest of not passing that neurosis on to my girls, I'm trying to come to grips with it.

Here is an excerpt from something I wrote about appearances that others who are cameraphobic (you know who you are) might find helpful:

"I have concluded that 90% of people are just normal looking. Within that spectrum of course there are issues of age, weight, grooming, style, etc. But for the most part, attractiveness has a lot more to do with image than with actual physical features.

There are probably about 5% of people who are in some way disfigured by their features. I feel really badly for these people. Most have lived with cruel remarks and teasing.

I think there might be a few people who do have remarkably perfect features. For the most part though, I think even the people we consider beautiful have more of a presence or personna than truly perfect features.

Sometimes I wish I looked better than I do, and sometimes I'm just glad I don't look worse than I do."

And approaching my mid-forties, I have come to realize that it won't get any better.

So, I guess this first act of disclosure is because I want the people who come here to know the real me, especially those I now consider friends.


Jim said...

There is certainly a level of security to be found in anonymity. It lets you write and say what you want with no repercussions. It lets you sound off about things and get feedback without any worries about what 'real' people you know will think about you. Over the course of my online writing, though, I have discovered a confidence I didn't know I had, the ability to form new thoughts and opinions, and even to change previously held ones, without the fear of what people will think of me. Anyone with any kind of maturity and intelligence will accept me just as I am, even if they disagree with me on something, and I have learned to find those people and talk with them at great length, whether it be online with a brief comment or longer article or in real life, in face-to-face discussion. My writing has become a learning and growing experience for me, and I believe it has made me a better person than I was before. It sounds like you are enjoying much the same experience. Kudos for stepping out of your comfort zone!

Grey Owl said...

Grace - you could always use photoshop to add a mask to yoyr face. Then we could call you "The Masked Grace" or "Gracewoman" or something. Either that or you could just start wearing glasses in your daily life. If it's good enough for Clark Kent...

Cindy said...

Okay- first, just ignore Dan. He hasn't posted his photo yet, I've noticed.

I also admire your departure from your comfort zone. Maybe I'll get there.

Robbymac said...

You'll be please/relieved to hear that I can't tell how tall you are from the pic you posted.

Your secret height remains secret. Fret not thyself. :)

Cute pic, by the way.

Grey Owl said...

I beg your pardon. This IS my picture.

Cindy said...

Dan- My apologies. I didn't know.

grace said...

You are right. Blogging has been a good learning experience. I enjoy it and I'm really glad I started.

Now I have to figure out what to do about my split personality. I have real life friends who don't know the writer. And I have online friends who, in some ways, know me better than my real friends and family.

Dan, Robby, and Cindy,
You guys are too funny!

Robby, I am taller than Cindy and most owls.

Dan, when I wear my glasses, I look like "frumpy grace".

David Cho said...

Hey grace, nice to see your pic posted. We all try to picture what the person looks like based on how they write, and how they sound, which is always an interesting exercise.

I was never anonymous because I was joining a group of real life friends who were blogging at the time. But I seldome tell people in real life about my blog.

Pam Hogeweide said...

you have a nice mug shot :-)

Regina Clare Jane said...

Yes, you look very warm and friendly, grace. I like that. I so far have gotten up the courage to post a baby picture of myself... maybe later on I'll post one of me around age two or so- we'll see! ;)

Kelly said...

are you really that short? i think i might have to stop reading.